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How to light Monuments

How to light Monuments

Photometric requirements

When illuminating a monument, it is preferable to install the lighting equipment close to it. This will enable the “wall washing” effect (like on building façades) to be created, providing contrasts and shadows that will perfectly reveal the shapes and the volume of the monument.
In addition, placing small floodlights close to the monument will make it easier to control any potential problems of glare for pedestrians or drivers moving around.
Generally, narrow beam floodlights are used for small monuments.
When the monument can be seen from all directions, a minimum of three orientations (ideally every 120°) is necessary for the complete illumination.

When it is not possible to install the floodlights close to the monument, the illumination design is more difficult due to the control of glare. Narrow beam floodlights must be accurately oriented, avoiding critical directions for vehicle drivers nearby.

The vertical illuminance level to be achieved on the monument depends on several parameters, the most important being the material (brightness, dirtiness) and brightness of the surroundings.
The average vertical illuminance level can range from 0 to 30 lux (for clear material in a relatively dark environment) up to 300 lux (for darker material located in bright surroundings).


Light sources

When you want to show the natural colours of the monument by night, the only possibility is to use white light. The white LED light source is ideally adapted to this type of illumination.
In addition, the compact nature of this source and its associated floodlights provide interesting possibilities for this kind of solution.
Accent lighting to highlight particular details of a building is easy to achieve. When high power is necessary (very large distance to illuminate), the use of a high output flux LED fixture is now possible.

If coloured lighting is desired, the best choice is clearly the use of LEDs. Indeed, the efficacy of saturated colours given by the different types of LEDs (or their RGB combination) is much higher than metal halide lamps associated with coloured filters.
Schréder floodlights use RGB+CW or RGB+A to give more warmth or provide pastel colours as well as to but also to be able to present a nice white light. Indeed the white created with RGB always has a pink-touch. We also offer tunable white (mixing cool white and warm white or cool white and amber) depending on the final desired effect.

Whatever is the solution, an important point is to make sure that all the light sources have the same colour temperature.
Unwanted differences in colours show a very bad and disappointing result.



In most situations, floodlights will be used to illuminate monuments. The floodlights are equipped with LEDs and can have different shapes, depending on the illumination needs. Circular or rectangular design for different light distributions, linear modules for wall washing effects, etc.

The chosen floodlights should have a high tightness degree (IP 66), to maintain the initial photometric performance throughout the lifetime of the installation.
A few floodlights are shown here below:












Terra Midi LED

Installation layout

To create a wall wash lighting on a monuments, different options exist: floodlights can be recessed into the ground, fixed onto the ground, on the monument structure, on small poles, etc…

When located at a larger distance from the monument, on poles or on surrounding buildings, narrow beam floodlights like the SCULPflood are ideal.


Dynamic illuminations

The digital era of architectural lighting has opened up an infinite universe of creative opportunities.
To offer full scope solutions that enable elaborated and attractive scenarios to be created, Schréder provides the perfect combination of state-of-the-art LED floodlights and leading-edge control systems.

Our dynamic control solutions are based on the universal DMX protocol. On request, we can also support alternative protocols such as DALI or 0-10V.
We offer 3 levels to adapt the control solution to the size and the complexity of your installation:

  • Basic: for small schemes with scheduled scenarios
  • Advanced: for larger schemes including interactivity and remote control
  • Smart: for complex scenarios on a large scheme that can be triggered by external sources thanks to additional sensors.

Basic Advanced   Smart


- Simple

- Pre-programmed

- Fixed schedule timing

- Basic interface

- Advanced

- To be developed with a lighting designer

- Can be programmed in the factory or on-site
- Complex, integrating music, video…

- On-site programming


- Small network < 1 DMX universe (< 512 channels)*

- No external sensor or triggering
- Larger networks > 1 DMX universe (> 512 channels)*

- Additional network components such as splitters, repeaters, etc.

- Can be triggered by external sensors
- Larger networks > 1 DMX universe (> 512 channels)*

- Additional network components such as splitters, repeaters, etc.

- Can be triggered by external sensors

Control system

- Schréder endorsed solution: Nicolaudie - Schréder endorsed solutions:
Nicolaudie or Pharos
- Schréder endorsed solution: Pharos
* A DMX universe can control up to 512 channels (or colours) that are constantly being updated for dynamic LED applications. This means that a floodlight fitted with mono-colour LEDs will require 1 DMX channel, a floodlight with tunable white LEDs will require 2 channels, a floodlight with RGB LEDs will require 3 channels and a floodlight with RGBCW or RGBA LEDs will require 4 channels.
Consequently, a minimum of 128 floodlights and a maximum of 512 floodlights can be controlled by one DMX universe.

Examples of illuminating a monument 

Grand Place - Brussels

Grand Place, Brussels is renowned worldwide for its architectural wealth. An UNESCO world heritage site, this memorable landmark benefits from a stunning nocturnal ambiance thanks to an LED lighting solution.
In total, 1,650 individually managed LED floodlights have been installed. They provide a gentle white light to create a homogenous light to accentuate the remarkable architecture.
A dynamic RGBCW lighting programme creates unlimited lighting effects for different events thanks to a central control system that adapts the intensity and colour of each floodlight independently. This solution means that no additional equipment or control units are required.
This LED solution has also dramatically reduced energy costs by more than 80%! The energy used to illuminate the 27 buildings today is less than what was used to light 2 buildings previously with traditional light sources.


Acquario Romano - Rome

The Acquario Romano was originally designed as Rome’s acquarium but is now used as an architectural cultural centre, hosting exhibitions dedicated to architecture.
This stately edifice is illuminated by 32 Neos LED floodlights. All the luminaires are controlled via a DMX control system to provide a dynamic colour variation programme.

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